OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Michael Vorenberg

Portrait of Michael Vorenberg
Image Credit: Peter Goldberg, Brown University

Michael Vorenberg, an associate professor of history at Brown University, teaches courses on American legal history and the Civil War and Reconstruction. His first book, Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment (2001), was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize. He is also the author of The Emancipation Proclamation: A Brief History with Documents (2009). He is working on two books: one on the end of the American Civil War and another on the impact of the Civil War on American nationalism and citizenship. He speaks widely on such topics as constitutional history, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and emancipation.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

This lecture engages with the larger subject of war endings--when can we say a war is truly over?--by focusing on the multiple endings of the Civil War, in addition to asking whether the war can even be said to be over today.
2016-18 represents the 150th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, perhaps the most important provision of the U.S. Constitution. My lecture discusses the historical origins of the measure and its evolution toward today.
This lecture examines the relationship between slave emancipation and the U.S. Constitution, focusing in particular on war powers, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Thirteenth Amendment.
This lecture explores the topic of American citizenship by examining Lincoln's approach to the topic, especially as it applied to former slaves but to others as well.